Car Kvetsh: Orthodox Jews United Against Parking Lots in Jerusalem

180px-Car_park_-8Ultra-Orthodox Jews are threatening widespread protests to prevent what they insist is a grave insult to their faith: a parking lot. The activists insist that no parking lot should be open on the Sabbath despite the fact that many Jews and non-Jews do not share their religious beliefs on driving. Protests last week turned violent.


Mayor Nir Barkat is trying to negotiate a resolution, but police have encouraged the opening of the parking lot on private land to relieve congestion in the Old City. The police have suggested yielding to the Orthodox demands by keeping the lot closed for two weeks while negotiating. The very fact that Israel allows such closures to appease religious views is an affront to principles of free exercise, freedom of association, and free speech. Israel’s continued mixture of temple and state undermines its democratic traditions and destabilizes its political system.

The lack of separation of temple and state have led to demands of sectarian control over areas of the country and even vigilantism against non-Orthodox Jews, here and here.

For the full story, click here.

12 thoughts on “Car Kvetsh: Orthodox Jews United Against Parking Lots in Jerusalem”

  1. Why aren’t they pleased that those cars are not DRIVING AROUND violating the Sabbath? A car that’s in a parking lot is not in use. Hello Hello …

    BTW, I don’t think I have to be a non-co-religionist to have the right to lead my life in a relatively non-psychotic manner. I would like to park MY car in a nondenominational parking lot any day of the week!

  2. I seldom leave a response, however after reading a few of the comments here Car Kvetsh:
    Orthodox Jews United Against Parking Lots in Jerusalem | JONATHAN TURLEY.
    I actually do have some questions for you if it’s allright. Is it only me or do some of these responses come across like they are coming from brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online sites, I’d
    like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you
    make a list of the complete urls of all your social community sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  3. hey lets face it, the parking lot has been closed for 15 years now, bec the past governments respected the fact that israel is a JEWISH state, and JERUSALEM IS THE HOLIEST city in the world and they had it closed from when it was built everysingle sabbath

  4. Ken,
    I’m glad you extended the parameters even further to PETA and ELF. My sense to would extend it to all political parties and movements. My favorite anti-war movie of all time was a 70’s production called “The Americanization of Emily” with James Garner and Shirley Andrews. In it Garner had a line that went like:

    “God save us from the moralists and idealists of the world, because their the ones who get everyone else’s backs broken.”

    I think you can replace “moralists and idealists” with fundamentalists and zealots. In any area of life, I think, adopting a rigidity of viewpoint, closes people off from the possibilities of new tactics, learning and change. That is not to say that I don’t believe there are certain universal moral imperatives, I do i.e. “Thou shall not murder,” I think though the list is limited and no one holds any franchise on them.

    By the way I’ve appreciated your writing and am glad you’re coming around more often.

  5. I agree with Mike that fundamentalism and zealotry is the bane of human existence. The desire to force others to accept your own taboos and superstitions, combined with a disdain for tolerance, logic and any knowledge outside of the approved dogma makes them dangerous. Their willingness to use violence as a weapon to force compliance on others is what makes them criminal.

    I see this blind zealotry among all religions and many secular groups as well (PETA, the ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT and EARTH FIRST come to mind). Not all religious folks or animal rights activists fall into this trap, but many do. So many decent people are willing to overlook this behavior in those they agree with. Too many will decry violence based on Islam, but will excuse it in their own faith. Witness all of the responses in the murder of George Tiller that amounted to, “It was wrong to kill him, but he WAS a bloodthirsty monster who murdered thousands of babies. Maybe some of them will live now.”

    Personally, I have no use for religion in my own life. I feel that it all amounts to superstition and illogical thinking, but it would never occur to me to use violence to force people to stop going to church, synagogue, mosque, temple – or whatever. It isn’t religion that is the enemy, but rather fundamentalism and intolerance of all flavors.

  6. rcampbell,
    Prescient comment. Religious zealotry, or fundamentalism is the bain of humanity. The irony is that the zealots hatred is greater for their own non-responsive coreligionists, than toward fundamentalists of other faith. A case in point is the closeness of Christian fundamentalists and Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
    My sense is that they are attracted to and respect each others totalitarian mindset.

  7. From the article:
    “The activists insist that no parking lot should be open on the Sabbath despite the fact that many Jews and non-Jews do not share their religious beliefs on driving”.

    Since when do religious zealots, whether fundamentalist Christians, Jihadist Muslims or Orthodox Jews, care about rational thought or the secular issues and concerns of the majority population in their respective countries? Their propensity for selfish one dimensional thinking is a consistant theme among them all.

Comments are closed.